Meet the Group Helping Detroit’s Homeless Help Themselves
When the “Great Recession” hit the United States in late 2007, the state of Michigan was one of the hardest hit. The collapse of the auto industry hurt the local economy immensely, as the housing market bubble burst and people began to move out of the major cities. Detroit was even referred to as a “ghost town.”
But for the city’s most vulnerable residents, simply packing up and leaving the city was not an option.
Marginalized populations in Detroit have always needed organizations to provide care to the homeless, the drug-addicted, and the food-insecure, but that need has perhaps never been greater than in the past decade.
That is why organizations like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries are more important today than ever. Since its creation in 1909, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries has rebuilt hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed by poverty, addiction, and homelessness.
“We’re a firm believer that you have to treat the whole person to make a permanent change and that’s what we do,” the mission states. “You’ve got to help the homeless help themselves.”
In 2015, there were over 40 million food insecure Americans and more than 1.5 million people checked into a homeless shelter at least once. Global Citizen believes that access to food and shelter is critical to the mission of eliminating global poverty, and has lobbied governments to provide resources to food-insecure countries, support food aid reforms, and push G7 leaders to eliminate hunger by 2030.
In Detroit alone, these problems hit close to home with an estimated 20,000 homeless people and fewer than 2,000 beds at local shelters. Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries is a trifecta of support: it’s a soup kitchen, church, and refuge for thousands of Detroit’s downtrodden.
The role of volunteers in making the Ministries’ wheels turn can’t be understated. In past years, for Comcast Cares Day, volunteers have sorted food donations, repacked bulk donated items into family-sized portions, and filled backpacks to send low-income children to school with a nutritious lunch on Fridays.
This year, Comcast Cares Day volunteers will continue to bolster these initiatives, and take on a project to upgrade the Ministries’ facilities. They will clean up and repaint shelter facilities, build playgrounds, install computers, and enhance restrooms. Sign up to volunteer and Help Make Change Happen on April 22.
They recognize that while it’s easy to dismiss hunger and homelessness as a global problem, it also exists right next door. Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries has understood this for more than a century, and is doing something about it.